“Always deliver more than what is expected.” – Larry Page
A business must do more than what is expected to make a connection and indeed win over a customer’s heart. A surprise can be memorable and have a lasting impact. Here are some ways that businesses can surprise their audience.
1. Feature your audience in your content.
Have you ever noticed how YouTubers sometimes call out the names of randomly chosen followers in the middle of their videos? Or they feature followers’ names on a bulletin board in their studio. These are small ways of making the audience feel noticed and become a part of their channel. Businesses can do the same.
– User-generated content:
According to this Offerpop survey, 85% of consumers prefer user-generated content to that created by the brand. Fashion brands often use their customers’ photos as style guides. Users could participate in TikTok challenges or create Instagram Reels with the brand hashtag to generate more content.
– Testimonials and Reviews:
Companies can feature testimonials and reviews prominently on their website and social media pages. They can also ask customers to send in video reviews, snippets of which can be featured in the video advertisements.
Brands can highlight or “pin” favourite social media comments and respond to the comments or messages sent by their followers. Publicly acknowledging that you care about your audience builds trust and loyalty within the existing customer base.
2. Give value for free.
While it may seem counterintuitive to earn more customers by giving away free content, it is true. Brands build long-term trust by providing the audience with valuable content for free.
– For interested customers:
This content may be in the form of YouTube videos, How-To guides, or short courses. Free content helps potential customers understand what they will be paying for.
– For existing customers:
A free add-on service or piece of content offered when a customer buys something is also an excellent way to surprise the buyer. Since they are paying customers, piloting your products for free on them can help a brand collect valuable feedback before launching a product full-scale. Send a care package or a special message on holidays and anniversaries!
– For potential customers:
Hosting giveaways is a way to attract more users to your social media pages or other channels. Giveaways create brand awareness, and you get to welcome new potential customers to your channels.
3. Take the audience behind-the-scenes.
Behind-the-scenes content can surprise your audience and forge a special connection, unlike most other content. Emotional content is always of value to the customer, and getting to know a brand’s human side can help customers make buying decisions. Here are some ways to create behind-the-scenes content.
– Team or employee features:
Feature your team through short interviews or photos. A brand can share their team’s interests, likes and dislikes, or what motivates them to work with this company. New employees or interns can also be featured and welcomed on social media pages.
– Pictures of the workplace:
Give the audience a glimpse into the inner workings of their favourite brand. It might be a quick video taken at a factory or a picture of the content team hard at work. A brand might also feature a backstage “teaser” for an upcoming product or service.
-Share the pitfalls in your journey:
Sharing your pitfalls makes an emotional connection with your audience. If an employee or a spokesperson shares the ups and downs of their journey, the brand will begin to seem more real and relatable to a customer. Such content builds transparency with the customer.